minima maxima sunt

The Small things are the Great things; as in a grain of mustard seed.

July. Ivy and Peacock Feathers

For July I looked back on January. My first attempts in my book of hours were full of trial and error. I revisited what I envisioned and here is the result. I will probably continue to re-do the first part of the year in the second half to see where I grew.

Ivy with gold leaves and a few animals. I used watercolor pencils for the peacock feathers and took a quick lesson on you tube on how to make them. Overall very happy with July and seeing my progress.

First page had a huge blunder on one date where I put the Saint on the wrong day. Blotted out to cover and shows. Will start focusing on the illuminated letters going forward. I figure that once I complete the calendar and move into other parts of the hours I will allow more room for this and have some fun.

Second page had no big blunders. Mixing the gold leaves with a few greens, red berries, a bird and a snail.

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5 thoughts on “July. Ivy and Peacock Feathers

  1. I am BLOWN AWAY by your art! 😮 You are EXTRAORDINARILY talented!
    I’m just learning calligraphy, and was googling around for inspirational ideas, I want to make some Christmas cards with religious pictures. Having just been looking open-mouthed at your stuff, I feel like giving up, you’ve set the bar so high that I can’t even see it. 😀

    Where did you learn to DO that? (The illumination, the design etc).
    Did you make the books yourself? From what kind of paper?
    Just blown away, your work is stunning.

    • Mike LaFountain on said:

      I’m glad you liked the illumination. Keep on googling. That is really how I put a lot of the book together. I really just had a fascination and thought it would be a fun project to make my own book of hours.
      The book I picked up at hobby lobby. It’s a leather bound journal with. I lines. The paper is a little heavy and rough. That worked well with the water based paint but leaves the gold foil a little textured instead of smooth.
      Gold foil, paint (gouache), watercolor pencils, regular color pencils, fine art pens also bought from Hobby Lobby. The foil is imitation and not real gold. Has similar look and a lot cheaper. I am still on my first package so it seems to go a long way.

    • Mike LaFountain on said:

      Pt2.
      Sorry, accidentally hit the send button. Was going to add that everything on the book has been trial and error. The calligraphy doesn’t come out as smooth on this paper, and I really do have terrible calligraphy. The font I found by googling Celtic fonts and printing it out as a guide. I have had to white out several times but not as much lately.
      All the art is hand drawn but some is inspired by or copied from pictures I found on the net or some of my reference books on illumination. I really am a hack at art so I have to do a lot of erasing and such to get a good picture. I usually do this on another paper and when I have the image to my liking I will trace it through the page in the book. I do this for line guides as well.
      I am planning to remove the binding when I’m finished and make my own cover. There are a few websites that explain that process.
      Again I’m glad you liked the work. Please come back and share your Christmas cards when you make them. I would love to see.

      • Thank you, Mike. Your way of operating is similar to mine, haha! 😀 Lots of tracing paper, Google, and an eraser to hand. 🙂
        You say you’re a hack, but I simply could not do those pictures even if I copied every line, your painting is very good. (Ironically my mother was an artist, so I do know the how-to, in theory).
        I’d be waaay too nervous to use a bought book, I’d think: ‘What if I get right through to the end and then totally ruin December, in an unsalvageable way?’ Not only would I have to toss the book out, but I’d probably start crying at the time wasted. 😀

        I think the reason they turned out so beautiful is because you love what you’re doing.
        I’m in England, and it’s much harder to find supplies here. (Yeah, the internet, but you’re never quite sure if what you’re buying will be suitable); I’ve visited the US, and nearly passed out at the amount of stuff you have in your stores compared to us.

        I love illuminated manuscripts, and thought it would be nice to make some Christmas cards with a sort of Book of Hours look. (And as a counterweight to all the awful ‘Happy Holidays!’ tripe. (I make a point of asking: ‘You mean Christmas?’ 🙂 ) With gold, pictures, and illuminated letters, somewhat like this:

        http://www.patricialovett.com/tag/book-of-hours/

        But at the moment I’m still wondering how to proceed. I have a pack of good quality blank cards & envelopes, but of course they won’t take ink and paint so well. So I was thinking of creating them on watercolour paper, then gluing to the card, but that might look amateurish and scruffy. 😦
        OK, I will come back with some pictures when I’ve actually made something!

        Barbara (teleile)

      • Mike LaFountain on said:

        I figured out a lot of my process on the first page for the month of January. I actually cut out a page from the back of the book which I trimmed to cover a few spots that didn’t work. There was actually a pine tree branch and a pine cone instead of the owl. Unfortunately the pine cone ended up looking like something a dog would leave in my yard. How embarrassing! After fixing it you cannot tell there is a cover up even if your holding the book. I can say that after that first page I still had mistakes, mostly with the calligraphy and getting the wrong Saint on the wrong date. But for the most part I had a better idea of what not to do and how to recover if a really big mistake occurs. You may just want to go ahead and do a card. Try the things your thinking about to see how they look. I would love to see how it turns out.

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